REVIEW: WizKids DC HeroClix Batman Review Part 2: Streets of Gotham Expansion Set
Batman Follow Up Features More Favorites, Vehicles, And Team Packs...
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If you’re anything like me you can’t get enough cool HeroClix, and if you’re a fan of Batman then you were probably really happy with the expansion set by the same name. Earlier this week we took an in-depth look at that set (check it out HERE), currently available in stores and as part of the ongoing No Man’s Land tournament series. But WizKids wasn’t done with the Caped Crusader! As a follow up to the Batman set and another main component of No Man’s Land came Streets of Gotham, a unique release consisting of single-figure blind boosters, larger boosters with full teams or vehicles, a Fast Forces set, and more. Today we’re going to look at that set in Part 2 of our DC HeroClix Batman Review!
Streets of Gotham continues where its predecessor left off with even more great Batman allies and villains, plus some fun non-Gotham inclusions as well. Closest in scope to last year’s Marvel Avengers movie HeroClix set, Streets of Gotham is at its core a 34 figure single blind booster set with a full rarity scheme of 12 commons, 11 uncommons, 8 rares, and 3 chases. Each display also comes with “team packs” which contain either one of five three-figure teams or one of three vehicle + rider pairings. The Batman set introduced vehicles with the large Batmobile, Invisible Jet, Bug, and more, while Streets brings sweet motorcycles for Batman and his allies. Beyond the blind boosters this set release also includes the Birds of Prey Fast Forces pack, an OP prize kit, and a Marquee figure.
The common figure selection of Streets of Gotham brings a nice mix of heroes, villains, and army builder types on each side of the law... and that’s literally true in the case of this set’s wide assortment of Gotham City Police members! Among the figures you’re most likely to see in your boosters are Gotham City’s finest in the form of the GCPD Officer, Detective, and Sergeant. Named heroes include Lady Blackhawk, Black Canary, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Fire, Dove, and of course Batman’s trusty sidekick Robin (Tim Drake). On the supervillain side you’ve got the ultra creepy Dr. Hurt, his minion the Black Glove Demon, and the generic False Facer.
Streets’ uncommons start off with none other than Batman himself, capturing his look and modus operandi from Batman Inc. He’s backed up by fellow heroes Huntress, Ice, and Hawk, while fan-favorites Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya join the force (the latter with two alternate sculpts capturing her civilian look and her Question appearance). Classic Batman villains at this level include an amazing new Killer Croc, Scarecrow, and the never before “Clixed” Calendar Man! A bit less black and white are the former Robin and current anti-hero Red Hood and the district attorney teetering on the edge of sanity Harvey Dent.
For the rares, Streets of Gotham divides evenly between heroes and villains with some very interesting character choices. The heroes include Gotham stalwart Commissioner Gordon, Justice League International’s Guy Gardner (with a bazooka!) and Vixen, and the offbeat modern OMAC. Meanwhile, it doesn’t get much darker than the murderous Mr. Zsasz and gangster Black Mask, who are joined by the word balloon-decorated Onomatopoeia (BLAM! BLAM!) and the Gates of Gotham villain the Architect!
Small sets like this one often include a couple chase figures, and Streets is no different. Each of these three figures is named “Batman,” but they’re no Bruce Wayne. These are the infamous “Ghosts of Batman” - three GCPD police officers tasked with replacing Batman in a worst-case scenario. When the three failed their initial test against the real thing, Dr. Hurt tortured them physically and emotionally, driving them to violent extremes. “Bat-Cop” wields twin pistols, “Bat-Bane” is enormous thanks to Hugo Strange’s Monster Serum and Venom, and “Bat-Devil” is a fearsome opponent with his goggles and high tech gear.
Halfway between a single-figure booster and the standard HeroClix five-figure booster is the Team Pack. While you’ll randomly get one of the five teams or three vehicle pairings, their contents are fixed so you know pretty much what to expect. The three-person teams include the current New 52 “Trinity” (Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), more classic WildC.A.T.s to join their first members from the Batman set (Void, Spartan Warrior Spirit, and Emp), deadly Assassins (Deathstroke, David Cain, and Lady Shiva), heroic Birds of Prey (Black Canary, Starling, and Katana), and a slightly miss-matched “Outlaws” set of Arsenal, Starfire, and their enemy Crux.
The Batman set introduced vehicles to the game of HeroClix, and we were lucky to get more in the very next release. Three of the team packs are actually “vehicle packs,” each with a figure and a motorcycle. The GCPD Motor Officer (a slight resculpt of the common GCPD Officer with a motorcycle helmet) comes with his trusty, and very inexpensive, GCPD Motorcycle. Robin, with the same sculpt as the common version but a different, vehicle-friendly dial, speeds into action on his Robincycle. And finally there’s the Caped Crusader himself - Batman with the sleek and sexy Batcycle!
Streets of Gotham may be smaller than a full booster expansion set, but it still has some excellent sculpts to enjoy. Even the basic humans of the GCPD look really good, with realistic poses and expressions as well as detailed clothing and accoutrements. Other cool poses include the False Facer with his gangster stance and animal mask, the hard-charging Batman with his swirling cape, Huntress elegantly firing her crossbow one-handed, Mr. Zsasz creeping around with his hunting knife, Superman crouched and ready to attack, Wonder Woman swinging her mighty sword, David Cain aiming his sniper rifle over a rooftop, Katana in a low fighting stance, and more. There are really nice textures to be appreciated on Fire’s flame form, Killer Croc’s reptilian hide, the Architect’s intricate steampunk-like armor, and Crux’s alien anatomy. Some overall sculptural standouts for me are Red Hood with his armor and pistols, Onomatopoeia with a cool pose and great word bubble effects, Black Mask (who lives up to his previous HeroClix incarnation), Void, and Starfire. And as always the chase figures and vehicles have top-notch sculpts, especially the Bat-Cop and Bat-Bane and the GCPD Motorcycle.
Just like the previous Batman set, for a Gotham City-inspired collection of figures you might be pleasantly surprised by the variety of colors and paint apps you’ll find when you open up these little boxes. And just like with the sculpts, I was impressed with the look of the GCPD members with their uniforms, guns, handcuffs, and more. Other particularly good paint jobs included Black Canary with her detailed fishnets, a very clean looking Blue Beetle, Robin with his dynamic colors, the Batman Inc.-era chest emblem and glossy sheen on Batman, Huntress’ complex costume, the tiny hash marks all over Mr. Zsasz’ body, the mix of bright colors on OMAC, Guy Gardner’s fantastically rendered Green Lantern uniform and clear bazooka, the intricacies of the Architect’s dark armor, Wonder Woman’s resplendent armor and weapons, the surprisingly strong details on tiny Emp, Starling’s tattoos, and the excellent work on Arsenal. As always, there are also great details in metallic paint like many of the guns in this set, and translucent plastic looks cool on Fire, Ice, Void, and more.
Streets of Gotham didn’t introduce any major new game mechanics, but its figures do have a nice variety of cool abilities and game play elements. With more Batman allies and martial artists it’s no surprise to see Improved Movement symbols on everyone from Black Canary to Red Hood. The low cost army builder figures like GCPD Officer, False Facer, Black Glove Demon, and more have multiple dial options with their own particular power sets and uses so you can mix and match depending on what you need. Renee Montoya has an interesting take on the Alter Ego ability with two separate dials (one for Renee and one for the Question), though she can also AE from the civilian to the hero. Meanwhile, when Harvey Dent takes significant damage he can Morph into the Two-Face figure from the Batman set! Among the Streets of Gotham members you’ll find familiar Team Abilities like Batman Ally, Batman Enemy, Underworld, Outsiders, Police for all of the GCPD, Justice League of America, Calculator, and even Titans on Robin and the Robincycle and Mystics on the Bat-Devil. There are lots of fun keywords to build teams around including the growing roster of Justice League International, WildC.A.T.s, Batman Family, Batman Inc., and the new Black Glove and Outlaws (for DC).
One of the most fun things to do when a new set comes out is to check out all of the cool Traits and Special Powers of the new figures. Whether vehicle-enhancing like Lady Blackhawk’s “Jet Jockey” or Blue Beetle’s “Beetle’s Bug,” Dove’s incredible damage borrowing “Use Your Strength Against You,” Mr. Zsasz’s increasing deadly “Counting Coup,” the thematic and fun “Bringing Down Gotham” of the Architect, David Cain’s ally boosting “Deadly Mentor,” or the chase figures’ enemy targeting “Ghosts of Batman,” there are lots of interesting new Traits here. Useful and interestingly named Special Powers include Fire’s highly appropriate “Fiery Form,” Dr. Hurt’s versatile “The Ultimate Foe,” Huntress’ awesomely named “Kneecapping Isn’t Killing” defense of her tactics to Batman, Red Hood’s lethal “Guns Blazing,” Killer Croc’s simple yet effective “Chomp,” Guy Gardner’s aggressive “Busting Heads” and Emp’s “Immortal” power that’s sure to annoy his opponent. Some other standouts include the vehicle drivers with their special piloting Traits, OMAC whose power descriptions on his card spell out “O-M-A-C” (repeatedly), and of course Calendar Man with his wacky day, date, and season-based powers!
The Fast Forces pack for Streets of Gotham features the popular DC team Birds of Prey, with new dials for Oracle, Lady Blackhawk, Huntress, Black Canary, Hawk, and Dove. Great individually, they play even better together with synergy through Traits and powers. The set also comes with a double-sided map featuring the Gotham City Clocktower and iconic Crime Alley. For a complete look at the Streets of Gotham Fast Forces pack, see my review HERE.
As with all major HeroClix sets, Streets also included an Organized Play prize kit for participating brick and mortar stores to use as tournament prizes and giveaways. This one brought players new figures of Hugo Strange (in his Batman outfit), Dr. Thomas Wayne, and an incredible duo of Batman and Nightwing! Special objects in this kit were the Bat Signal and Radar Monitor (which you can also mount on the Utility Belt), while a new map brings Killer Croc’s Sewer Lair and the literal Streets of Gotham to your games. You can check out these figures, objects, and maps in even more depth with my review HERE. Finally, Streets had one more figure in a single-boxed “Marquee” that stores could order. This one is yet another Batman, but a very unique one. It’s none other than Damian Wayne as Batman from the “glimpse of a possible future” Batman #666 story Batman in Bethlehem. This 102 point bruiser has great stats, a nice variety of powers, a very cool Special Power that lets him blow up unheld objects, and best of all an incredible sculpt and paint job featuring the trench coat-wearing Batman standing in front of a stained glass window!
All of the interrelated Batman HeroClix products (the Batman and Streets of Gotham sets) are available in stores now, and the ongoing No Man’s Land tournament series has two more months that include sealed events so you have even more chances to play with all of these great figures. Streets in particular is easy to buy and collect with impulse-friendly single-figure boosters as well as the team/vehicle packs that are guaranteed to yield something cool!
Visit HeroClix.com for even more info as well as downloads of rules and maps, and make sure to check back to Figures.com for more HeroClix articles and previews in the future!
Review and Photos by Scott Rubin
Review Samples Courtesy of WizKids